Andre Tanneberger better known as ATB is one of the few international artists who presents his own style and has succeeded in having a long lasting effect on the international dance scene for more than ten years. Well known for his legendary singles “9pm (Till I Come)” and “Ecstacy” ATB will always be a huge name in the EDM world. We had the honor to interview the man himself…
What was your initial inspiration in producing electronic music? Who were your first influences and how did they play a part in your early productions?
When I was young, and even today, my idols of electronic music were JEAN MICHEL JARRE and MICHAEL CRETU. Their music is really timeless and prepared the path for todays’ electronic music. When I was asked to remix a Jean Michel track it was like being knighted. I also got to work with Michael Cretu at his studio.
How did the name ATB fit with your style of music? What is the origin of the name?
The artist name ATB comes from my real name Andre Tanneberger.
2011 was a huge year for you. How have recent trends in the electronic music scene, such as certain aspects of Dubstep and Electro House, influenced your productions? And in what ways?
To be honest I’m not following such musical trends. Of course I notice developments in electronic music, but in general develop my own way of music, experiment with different instruments, sounds, vocals and of course music styles, doesn’t matter if they are “in” at the moment or not. I think it’s really important to develop your sound constantly and not to get stuck on one style. With every new album I want to present to the people something new and I think the people like and respect this development of ATB apart from current trends.
Working with other artists always makes an impact on someone’s work. How has working with other producers made an impact on your work?
Well, to cooperate with other artists is always something special. Everybody has different ideas, background knowledge and influences. So naturally you learn from each other, connect ideas and develop the music. This is really impressive and of course you take these influences with you.
Tracks like “Ecstasy” and “9pm” are some of the most successful pieces of electronic music to date and are known throughout the world as well as having several records go platinum. In what ways do these tracks reflect your style of music? What are some of the production aspects of these tracks that appeal to you the most? Why?
ATB is and will always be a combination of a catchy melody fused with a pumping beat. I think these are the most important aspects of my music. But to finalise and refine my productions I also often like to use vocals. They make a track really unique. I like to surprise the people and to present them new, unique vocals. Of course I also work with well know singenrs like Roberta Carter Harrison, Heather Nova or Jan Löchel, but I really like to trawl through the internet and search for new unknown singers.
What do you find to be the most difficult part of producing music? (mixdown, composition, drum processing, etc…?)
That depends!. On some days it’s very easy to create a cool melody with an awesome sound, but you can’t find a groovy beat, on other days you have a pumping beat, but can’t find the right melody and sound for it.
What kind of DAW do you use for your productions? What synths, plug ins, or software do you find the most useful?
I’m using Logic 9 as DAW. Furthermore I have many different Plug-ins and Synthesisers of Waves or Spectrasonics, but also Hardware-Synthesisers like an Access Virus.
What do you believe your strengths to be when performing live shows? What are you currently trying to improve on?
I’ve been in this business for more than 15 years now and every show is still something special for me. I’m always at the club or venue one hour before my playtime, watch the audience and how they react to the music the DJ before me plays. This is very important for me and helps me to understand the people, to estimate how they will react to the one or other track and to make a better become one with the crowd, so I can perform at at my best for them and rock the stage. I think this is also the strength of my performances. I always make a deeper connection with the audience, communicate with them during the performance and not just playing one track after another. So it’s a musical interaction, everybody has fun and a good time.
Being from Germany, what are some of your favorite venues/countries to play at? Do you have any specifically memorable shows you’ve played that have stood out in your minds? Why?
It’s no secret that the USA is one of my favourite countries when touring the world. I like these tremendous landscapes, unbelievable skylines of the big cities, mixed culture and club scene. But of course there are also many other great places in the world I really like to play. From my residency, the Marquee Nightclub in Las Vegas, to Zouk Club in Singapore, Kristal Club in Romania, Club 139 in Poland…
Where do you see the EDM scene going in relation to the Trance scene? How can you compare it to where Trance was just a few years ago?
Trance music developed together with the whole EDM scene over the last few years. The people started to combine the different music styles especially due to the fact that Trance music is getting slower and today many tracks can’t be defined as Techno, Trance and House. It’s a mixture of all these kind of musical styles. So you don’t have these fixed boundaries between the different music styles and I really like this development. I’m sure that as long as the electronic music develops, it will be interesting for it’s listeners and will assure it’s position as one of the most important music styles in the world.
What was your most significant moments as a producer in 2011? Can we expect big things in 2012?
For me as a producer 2011 was great. I released my eighth studio album “Distant Earth” with huge success. Compared to others it was ranked as #7 in the official German album sales charts. This is tremendous and none of my previous albums reached such a high position before. Also the tour I had in conjunction with the album was awesome including highlights like ATB IN CONCERT, Poland; Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas, USA; Electric Zoo, New York, USA or Nature One, Germany. I have such a good time and so many great parties with so many fans all around the globe and get a lot of inspiration from them.
So, based on this I have already begun work on new tracks and who knows, maybe I can produce and release my next album already in 2012?! ;o)